Pinsent Masons launches parallel trade monitoring platform for life sciences sector

09 Mar 2022 | 11:01 am | 1 min. read

Multinational law firm Pinsent Masons launches innovative online tool to help life sciences organisations grappling with parallel trade management.

Parallens enables manufacturers and brand owners across the life sciences sector to track parallel trade notices, as well as guiding them on when and how objections can be raised - facilitating timely responses. The platform seeks to turn the data from notices into actionable intelligence, allowing organisations to identify the products being targeted by parallel traders and ultimately where organisations may face supply chain shortages.

Parallel trade is popular across the life sciences sectors, with parallel traders buying goods placed on the market in one country (often where prices are lower) and then selling them into another at a higher price. There are a number of requirements that parallel traders must meet in order to legally import products from one EU country to another, or into the UK, including repackaging products to meet local regulatory requirements and notifying rightsholders of those product changes.

Improved monitoring and increased visibility of parallel trade is more important than ever for manufacturers as supply chains for medicines have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with disruption in the manufacture of goods and spikes in demand resulting in increased movement of goods across Europe.

Leading on the development of Parallens, brand protection and parallel trade expert in the pharmaceuticals market Emily Swithenbank commented:

“Working with clients across the life sciences sector we know how time consuming and difficult parallel trade can be to manage and wanted to develop a solution to help simplify this. Poor management of parallel goods can be costly and have far-reaching brand ramifications – particularly where medicines are concerned. Also, at a time of huge disruption to global supply chains, it is vital for organisations to understand where future issues may arise, giving them time to mitigate against issues such as shortages of products.”

Adding to this, life sciences partner Marc Holtorf said:

“Parallel trade is something that will continue to grow, and it will only become more important for life sciences organisations to have measures in place to help manage this. For example, Germany, Europe's largest pharmaceutical market, is increasingly becoming a parallel trade export country as result of numerous legislative steps put in place to regulate prices for medicinal products. Organisations need to ensure they are getting this right.”

Pinsent Masons will be discussing this further during their webinar on 10 March, exploring the IP, competition and Brexit related considerations surrounding the free movement of goods between the UK and EU

Key Contacts

Marc L. Holtorf

Marc L. Holtorf

Rechtsanwalt, Fachanwalt für Gewerblichen Rechtsschutz, Partner, Head of German Intellectual Property

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